The European Champion took his first World Tour victory of the season with a great sprint.
Fabio Jakobsen nabbed the win on the second stage of the Italian race, unleashing a huge acceleration before cunningly throwing his bike over the line for Soudal Quick-Step’s 12th success of the year, a result which puts our team at the top of the victory classification.
Follonica – a small town in the province of Grosseto, more accustomed to welcoming the peloton of the Giro d’Italia than the one of Tirreno-Adriatico – was the site of Jakobsen’s 40th pro win, which came at the end of a stage that our team controlled from the beginning until the end. Dries Devenyns kept the breakaway on a tight leash, making sure the gap would remain around the three-minute mark before the last 50 kilometers, where our team changed the pace and gradually clawed back time.
On the small but tricky climb coming ten kilometers from the finish, Julian Alaphilippe and Andrea Bagioli showed that The Wolfpack meant business, pushing a tempo that prevented any attacks, before Davide Ballerini and Casper Pedersen took over the reins, helping our team dominate the finale.
Under the flamme rouge, Bert Van Lerberghe expertly moved through the peloton with Fabio Jakobsen glued to his wheel until 150 meters to go. That was when the Dutchman decided to make his move, passing Fernando Gaviria (Movistar), who tried to anticipate the sprint, before edging out Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) for his first ever victory on Italian soil.
Everybody did a great job today and I am grateful for that.
“I knew the condition was there, and seeing how the team believed in me fueled my motivation and desire. I knew that if I get a chance I can show how fast I am, and today everything was textbook, from the hard work of the guys to control the escapees and keep me in the front to the perfect lead-out they gave me.”
“When I began sprinting I knew that I had the speed and that I could push it all the way to the line. I am very happy with my first victory in Italy, a country that has a huge love for cycling. What made things even more special is that my parents were here today to see me, I’m glad they could watch me get my 40th win”, a smiling and proud Fabio said.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images